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DOE News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 8, 2005

NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:
Media Information: (208) 526-9206
Public Information: (208) 526-5042

Emergency teams standing down after propane leak at INL site

INL emergency response teams are standing down as recovery efforts continue after a propane leak that began this morning at the U.S. Department of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory site. The incident took place at the Radioactive Waste Management Complex (RWMC).

Updates:

  • Emergency teams were able to stop the leak in the propane heating system lines at the Accelerated Retrieval Project facility. Recovery teams are now stabilizing the facility condition and are taking the necessary steps to return the facility to normal operations and gather information on the cause of the leak to prevent re-occurrences.
  • There was no danger of offsite releases or danger to the public.
  • It is expected that Idaho Cleanup Project and Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project employees will report to work tomorrow as normal, but they can still check the employee hotlines established for employee information related to the incident. Those numbers are:
    • ICP - 526-5600
    • AMWTP - 680-4400

As previously reported:

  • The propane was leaking much slower than initially reported.
  • All RWMC personnel not involved in the response effort, about 650 employees, were sent home as the recovery effort continued. Evening shift RWMC employees were notified not to report for work tonight.
  • The propane leak was coming from a failed valve leading to a pair of 1,000-gallon propane tanks connected in series as part of a heating system at the RWMC's ARP facility.
  • Combustible gas surveys by the INL Fire Department about 100 yards from the building where the leak is occurring showed no detectable reading.
  • No injuries were reported.
  • The event was declared a nonradiological material release, and the Idaho Cleanup Project spill team was notified.

INL and ICP Communications continue to gather information about the incident. As soon as further details can be obtained and confirmed, information will be provided to the media.

INL's emergency Joint Information Center at the Engineering Research Office Building, 2525 Fremont Ave., Idaho Falls, is being activated to answer questions. For further information about this incident, media should now call Amy Lientz at 526-7431 or 520-7718.

-INL-

For more information about INL, visit our Web site

For more information about the RWMC, visit the Idaho Cleanup Project Web site

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